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MN tax breaks, who knows? But here comes the campaign rhetoric. – Twin Cities


Both Democrats and Republicans would love to give Minnesotans a tax cut.

It is, after all, an election year.

And both parties would very much like to say they’re doing their part to fight crime and improve the sense of security and trust in high-crime communities.

We are, after all, in a moment when fears of violent crime are high, and the two-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder has just been marked.

Instead, it looks like we’ll have to settle for finger-pointing and negative campaign rhetoric.

Minnesota politics now enters its next phase: the extended election season. And it’s starting while there’s unfinished business at the state Capitol — and no clear answer whether it will get finished.

Last week, lawmakers adjourned without finishing work that leaders of both parties had agreed to get done, including tax breaks and law enforcement investments. And while there’s a possibility they will return to complete their task, nothing of note has happened in the week since.

That’s especially frustrating for many lawmakers — and taxpayers — because it wasn’t like they were arguing about cutting services. There’s more extra money pouring into state accounts — in excess of $9 billion — than the state has ever had before.

ELECTION SEASON ALREADY?

Gov. Tim Walz celebrates with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and their families after being endorsed during the Minnesota DFL State Convention on May 20, 2022, at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. (Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin)

There’s little doubt the election season will surge ahead, with campaigns gearing up throughout the summer, starting on social media and shifting to campaign fliers, TV ads and door knocking.

The state parties have endorsed their candidates. Tuesday is the last day to file for office. The races are just about set.

On Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, both Democrats, filed; days earlier, former state Sen. Scott Jensen and his running mate, former NFL player Matt Birk, filed as the Republican-endorsed ticket.

Candidates for a bevvy of other races, from attorney general to congress to every seat in the state House and Senate, have also filed their papers or are about to. Same for candidates for many county, city and school board offices.

For some races, an Aug. 9 primary will determine which candidate will advance to the general election on Nov. 8. For many races, the primary will be a formality.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The landscape is also set: In Minnesota, no one knows which party — if either — will control the agenda, which could range from tax policy to abortion rights, from education spending to environmental regulations.

We’re a purple state to begin with: Statewide, Minnesota has leaned blue for years, but the Legislature is currently split, and history and recent polling suggest that President Joe Biden’s sagging approval ratings amid economic uncertainty could benefit Republicans.

We’re in that once-a-decade moment when every statewide Minnesota elected position, every U.S. House seat, every state legislative seat and nearly every other county and local seat based on redrawn geographical boundaries will be up for election. The process always happens the first election after the U.S. census.



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